History of the Monster Jam World Finals V
Monster Jam Media
Feb 29, 2012
World Finals V, March 20, 2004 – FINALLY! The Icon Grabs The
Racing Champion – Dennis Anderson, Grave Digger
Freestyle Champion – (Tie) Lupe Soza, El Toro Loco; Madusa, Madusa; Tom
Meents, Maximum Destruction
Racing Semifinalists: Grave Digger (Anderson), Blacksmith
(Pablo Huffaker), Bounty Hunter (Jimmy Creten), Maximum Destruction (Meents)
Top 5 Freestyle Scores: El Toro Loco (Soza) 31, Madusa
(Madusa) 31, Maximum Destruction (Meents) 31, Grave Digger (Anderson) 30, King
Krunch (David Smith) 27
To this day, the most emotional night in the sport’s history
as Dennis Anderson overcame his years of racing frustration in Las Vegas to
claim his first World Racing Championship. In the first four World Finals
racing brackets Grave Digger had never advanced past the second round, so it
may have surprised some that Anderson arrived for WF5 full of confidence. “I’ve
just got a really good feeling this year” Anderson said during the Built Ford
Tough Party in the Pits. “I want to hit the jackpot here in Vegas.” And hit the
jackpot he did! In qualifying the big boys were on their game: Maximum
Destruction turned the fastest time, Grave Digger was 2nd fastest and Bounty
Hunter was 3rd, which created maybe the most balanced race bracket ever at the
Probably the biggest win for Anderson’s confidence came in
that treacherous round two, which had been his downfall in the past. This time,
though, he convincingly eliminated consistent David Smith in King Krunch to
move to his first World Finals semifinal round ever, and he just kept rolling.
Talk about the cream rising to the top. The semifinal round showcased four of
the sport’s greatest racers: Anderson, Meents, Creten, and Huffaker. Pablo
helped his Team Grave Digger buddy Anderson out when he edged Max-D by a half
truck length after Dennis eliminated Bounty Hunter. Making the World
Championship race for the first time ever Dennis took full advantage, edging
his friend and teammate Huffaker, Grave Digger defeating Blacksmith as Anderson
won his first world racing title.
The celebration on the track will still put a tear in your
eye and give you goose bumps when you watch it again, even all these years
later. A tearful, choked up Anderson, being mobbed by his sons, Adam and Ryan,
along with his entire team, thanking his fans for their 22 years of support in
a Monster Jam moment for the ages. The only other moment in any form of
motorsports that I can compare this to was when the great Dale Earnhardt Sr.
finally won the Daytona 500 and every crew member from every team lined the pit
road to salute “The Intimidator” as he drove to Victory Lane.
Still, Anderson had more work to do despite the euphoria of
finally winning the World Racing Championship. Freestyle on this night would
not be Anderson’s, but it was the tightest finish in history with Madusa, El
Toro Loco, and Maximum Destruction finishing in a three-way tie for the title.
The next year the USHRA added several levels of tie-breakers, assuring that
2005 will be the only year where there were multiple freestyle champions.